Sigma has wowed us with its recent series of Global Vision lenses, with most entries delivering superior optical quality at a price that undercuts name brand options from Canon and Nikon. The latest batch runs the gamut in terms of angle of coverage, giving fans of ultra-wide angle views as much to be excited about as photographers who utilize extreme telephoto glass.
Starting at the wide end, the 12-24mm DG HSM Art isn’t quite the widest zoom available (Canon’s 11-24mm f/4L is just a smidgen wider), but it’s a comparative bargain and promises to focus very quickly thanks to a new focus system that increases the torque output of the internal focus motor by 33 percent. It will be available for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma SLRs in late October for $1,599. The Nikon lens will feature an electronic diaphragm, so you’ll need to pair it with a newer DSLR for full compatibility.
Next up is the long-rumored 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, a short telephoto that’s ideal for portraiture. It’s designed to support the highest resolution sensors on the market, including the 50MP chip inside the Canon EOS 5D S R, and its f/1.4 design is great for blurring the background of photos. It will be sold for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma SLRs, and like the 12-24mm, the Nikon version features an electronically controlled diaphragm. The 85mm is priced at $1,199 and will go on sale in October.
Finally there’s a new wide-aperture telephoto, the 500mm F4 DG OS HSM Sports. It’s optically stabilized, and its f/4 aperture means you can use it with a 1.4x teleconverter with most cameras on the market, and a 2x converter with models that support f/8 focus. Designed for use in inclement conditions, the lens is constructed from magnesium alloy, ships with a carbon fiber lens hood, and is protected from dust and slashes. Its front element features a special coating to repel moisture and oil.
The Nikon version of this one also uses an electronic diaphragm, and the lens can also be had for Canon and Sigma systems. It’s priced at $5,999 and will ship in late November.